How Do Artists Make Money On Apple Music?

Apple Music is a major streaming platform where artists can release their music. It is estimated to have around 80 million subscribers around the globe, and therefore can be a great tool for upcoming artists trying to get exposure.

How do artists make money on Apple Music?

Artists release their music on Apple Music through a label or distribution company. When the artist’s music gets played, they earn a small amount. The money is then collected by the label or distributor periodically, and they may take a percentage before paying the artist.

Apple Music makes most of its money from advertisements and subscriptions.

To access Apple Music, millions of users pay a monthly subscription fee, making it a very profitable business model. Some of this money is reinvested to pay the artists who upload their music onto Apple Music.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the details of how you can make money on Apple Music, how much you can expect to be paid, and all the other information you need on the topic.

How Do Artists Make Money on Apple Music?

The rise of streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify has revolutionized the way people listen to music and the way that artists release their work.

One of the main benefits of the digital music era is that it has evened the playing field and provided all artists with the opportunity to make money from their music.

The obvious downside is that there is now more competition than ever. Any artist can work with a distributor, upload their songs to a streaming platform, and therefore the market has become increasingly saturated in recent years.

Nevertheless, if an artist manages to build a fanbase online, they can earn substantial amounts of money from streaming services like Apple Music.

There are two ways that artists can get their music on Apple Music and start earning money from streaming revenue.

The first is by working with a record label, which handles the entire process of uploading your music and collecting money from the streaming platform. The label commonly takes a percentage of the revenue made by the artist. 

The second option is for independent artists who don’t have a record label to work with. These artists must use an Apple-approved distributor, who helps them with the process while charging a fee or taking a cut of the profit that the artist makes.

Music distribution is an important part of the modern music industry, particularly because of the rise in popularity of streaming services like Apple Music. The distributor is responsible for exchanging music between the artist and the streaming platform, and they also take care of payments and transactions.

Using a distributor makes it easier for the artist to focus on making music, rather than worrying about chasing up companies for their money.

The distributor will automatically collect revenue monthly, quarterly, or yearly, and then send it to the artist.

It’s impossible to make money from streaming platforms like Apple Music unless the artist works with a distributor or a label. For independent artists who are looking to establish themselves in the industry, using a distributor is a great way to get their music out there.

Artists that already have a considerable fanbase are more likely to work with major labels, or large indie labels because these companies can invest in promotion and marketing.

How Much Does Apple Music Pay Artists?

Unlike other streaming platforms, Apple Music pays all artists the same rate.

This means that regardless of whether you use a distributor, independent label, or a major record label to release your music, you will receive the same pay per play from Apple Music.

Apple claims that the average per play rate of Apple Music is around $0.01. However, this figure is misleading, as it includes the payments paid to labels and publishers for royalties.

The real figure that Apple Music pays directly to artists is around $0.007 per stream.

The amount that artists can expect to be paid by Apple Music is somewhere between $7 to $10 for every 1,000 streams. The reason that this number can change is that Apple Music pays more for streams that come from wealthier countries, and less for poorer countries.

Also, you will earn more per stream if the majority of your listeners are signed up to a paid Apple Music subscription plan, rather than streaming with a free, basic membership.

  • Most distributors or labels will also upload your music to the other major streaming platforms, so the amount you earn will be multiplied providing you have listeners across the various streaming platforms.

How Do You Become an Artist for Apple Music?

Becoming an Artist on Apple Music is quite simple, but you need to follow a specific set of steps. Firstly, unless you already work with a label, you’ll need to choose a distributor to sign up to.

There are many Apple-approved distributors that you can choose from, with some of the most popular being TuneCore, DistroKid, CD Baby, and AWAL.

Check out this YouTube video for a comparison of TuneCore and Distrokid

Each distribution company offers various memberships with different costs and fees, but they all essentially do the same things.

The distribution company that you choose will be responsible for uploading your music to Apple Music and other major streaming platforms. They will also exchange all of the necessary data with Apple Music, and set up a system for collecting your payments once you start to earn money from streams.

After signing up for an account with a distributor, you can choose the type of release you want to put on Apple Music. This may be a single, or an album.

You then simply upload the music and the artwork to the distributor, and they will then upload it onto Apple Music, usually within a few days or weeks.

Once your music is uploaded to Apple Music, you can receive analytics from your distributor so that you know exactly how many streams your songs are getting, in addition to other information such as where the listeners are located, and their age or gender.

How Much Does Apple Music Pay for 1 Million Streams?

Although Apple Music claims to pay artists on average $0.01 per stream, this is not accurate. In reality, artists receive somewhere in the region of $0.008 per stream, depending on certain variables.

This means that for 1 million streams, Apple Music pays artists around $7,000 to $10,000, which is a considerable amount of money. Indeed, getting 1 million streams is not easy, but it is achievable if you build a fanbase and consistently release good quality music on the platform.

When you break it down, this means that if you release one hundred songs on Apple Music and each song achieved around 10,000 streams, you’d hit the one million stream mark, which would get you at least $7,000.

This may sound easy, but with so many artists competing for streams, it’s harder than you’d think to achieve this number of plays. It can be done through hard work and perseverance, though!

Which Music Platform Pays the Most (Is Apple Music Competitive)?

Artists can earn money from all of the major streaming platforms. Most distributors will upload your music to all of the most popular streaming services so that you have the biggest audience to share your music with.

Here’s a comparison of the average amount paid by the most popular streaming platforms for artists.

Streaming PlatformEstimated Pay Per StreamNumber of Users
Apple Music$0.00778 Million
Amazon Music$0.00455 Million
Spotify$0.0033182 Million
YouTube Music$0.00850 Million
Tidal$0.0135 Million
Music streaming services pay chart

As you can see, Spotify is by far the most popular streaming platform in the world, with an estimated 182 million subscribers. This is around 100 million more than Apple Music.

Apple Music offers the best pay-per-stream rate for artists, along with YouTube Music. Spotify has come under a lot of criticism from artists for the low rate that they offer per stream, but Apple Music is often praised for its rate.

Related Questions

Is there an Apple Music for artists app?

iOS users can download the Apple Music for Artists app from the App Store. This app is designed to provide artists with a detailed breakdown of their, and other information such as demographics and which playlists they have been added to.

Is TuneCore or DistroKid better for artists?

TuneCore and DistroKid are two of the world’s leading distributors. TuneCore is more expensive, charging around $49.99 to upload an album, while DistroKid charges $19.99 per year with unlimited song and album uploads.

How long does Apple Music take to verify an artist?

It can take up to 48 hours for Apple Music to approve an artist’s profile. This depends on whether the information you’ve given when signing up is in line with Apple’s guidelines, and whether the photo you’ve provided is also suitable.

How To Make Money On Spotify

For more information on how to promote your music on Spotify be sure to check out this article.

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